My Photo

Ordering Information

Tomi on Twitter is @tomiahonen

  • Follow Tomi on Twitter as @tomiahonen
    Follow Tomi's Twitterfloods on all matters mobile, tech and media. Tomi has over 8,000 followers and was rated by Forbes as the most influential writer on mobile related topics

Book Tomi T Ahonen to Speak at Your Event

  • Contact Tomi T Ahonen for Speaking and Consulting Events
    Please write email to tomi (at) tomiahonen (dot) com and indicate "Speaking Event" or "Consulting Work" or "Expert Witness" or whatever type of work you would like to offer. Tomi works regularly on all continents

Tomi on Video including his TED Talk

  • Tomi on Video including his TED Talk
    See Tomi on video from several recent keynote presentations and interviews, including his TED Talk in Hong Kong about Augmented Reality as the 8th Mass Media


Blog powered by Typepad

« Avoin kirje Nokian osakkeenomistajille (This blog article in Finnish, English version is Open Letter to Nokia Shareholders here also published today) | Main | Largest Computer Makers When Smartphones Included - Apple dominates, nearly twice as big as nearest rival (which is, of course, Samsung not HP) »

August 22, 2012



@Baron95 - in your post there are two sad thing:

- Nokia has become yet an other OEM of mobile phone world
- its shares can rally 100% and still worth fraction of its prices compared to one year before

so, what is the big achievement here saving the ass of the CEO?

On the other had we can agree that maybe, but just maybe, Nokia has started recovering from the bottom of the hole it has dug for itself. And quite significant part of that hole was dug by its own CEO...


@Baron95: yes, investors usually do so - especially the ones who do not really care what stock
they are buying but believes in graphs only. The ones who buy on 'technical bases'...

Anybody who buys shares for long(er) period must be aware of the performance in the past - and especially for the facts resulted those results. Because of that it still really count what a CEO did or don't do in the past. Because (s)he will act similarly in the future as well...

Yes, I know I'am an old-school mate but who cares! :-) My icon is Warren Buffet not the short-traders...

I do not live in the past. It is just a simple fact that Elop has made many colossal mistakes/questionable moves/interesting decisions - whatever you name it. Why is it so difficult to admit it?

He destroyed/transformed a European technology giant. Made it yet an other OEM.

During this transformation, value of the company was eroded A LOT. All investors - you can call them loosers :-( - who did not sell their stocks half year ago are not so happy with this '100% rally' because they are still in ~50% minus. Just because they believed in this company and its leadership...

I do not say that all decisions, he made, are wrong. I just say, I think, there was better path for transforming Nokia - and he did not find it (-> questioning his capabilities). Or did not followed it (-> questioning his loyalty).

Neither option is a nice one from a share-holder point of view...

Anyway, he will not be fired this yer, I think. We all are waiting what new devices will Nokia bring to us in Q4.

But if numbers does not come, somebody will have to raise some questions in the next annual meeting and somebody else will have to answer them...


> @Baron95
> Tomi's blogs and comments are becoming more comical.
>The shareholders (current shareholders) just saw Nokia's stock go up 100% in the past month.

this is what happens to dying companies, their stock falls down to almost nothing; investors start to speculate whether the company will be bought in order to sell off the inventory, which in Nokia's case is worth more than the stock. you cannot buy a company for the stock price obviously; so this may be a very good time to buy some Nokia shares.


The Microsoft shills are out in force. They are invading your blog Tomi! Nokia's demise is centered on the fact that NO ONE will buy a Windows Phone. The statements that wp8 is the savior or will change everything is not only funny but pure delusion from seriously stupid people or from for-hire shills. Take a look at the long list of Microsoft business practices


Hi Tomi,

Very good article. Many people without being a genius have been thinking the same for a year now. What I really don't understand that why the Finns don't realize that this is much more than just a CEO doing bad decisions. I strongly believe this is done for purpose, so he's doing a good job for what he was requested to do, but that's not for Nokia's or Finland's interest.


Anyone coming in as the next CEO has a tough job ahead.

But, "anyone" can do a better job than Elop.

Currently, Nokia can turn towards Jolla... Thats the only option, since the announcements reveal that it will run the android apps too....

Tomi T Ahonen

Wow, over 70 comments here, and over 90 more at the Finnish language version..

I am sorry that I am on summer vacation, so I am even more delayed and time-constrained to try to reply to all comments but I'll do at least a few now while am here on the blog

Hi Vinicius, Jamie, DA, Fabio and jo

Vinicius - haha thanks, I tried to be not so hostile as per usual in my rants about Elop.. Now, on yes, Elop should have been fired at those points you mention - and, ahem, I had been calling for his firing at all those points as you know.. But yes, why now? You use the Apollo analogy and I love that (was a huge fan of the Apollo program, am old enough to remember Armstrong walking on the moon which we saw on TV). But no, 'waiting it out' with Windows Phone 8 is pointless, because Windows Phone 8 is dead already. If there was ANY chance of a Microsoft + Nokia magical partnership to revive Windows as a smartphone OS, it would have been this past Spring when Nokia threw 3x the amount of money at it than anytime ever before in this industry, and Microsoft threw a Billion dollars more into it, and carriers/operators such as AT&T threw the biggest marketing budget for a handset launch ever - if this doesn't move the needle at all - remember, Nokia North America total handset sales was 600,000 units before the AT&T launch, and was exactly 600,000 units now after that launch - then it all has truly failed. Its not whether one phone is better than another, whether there are apps or the OS is clever or not or whatever, it is that the sales channel has decided to say no to Microsoft. It is a dead horse, and any money and time and effort Nokia throws into this endless pit, is wasted, forever. The sooner Nokia understands this is totally wasted effort and does ANYTHING else, the better for Nokia.

Jamie - I hear you and agree to a point. First, I'd say that the competence of a middle-manager from Microsoft (Elop) compared to a CEO from a carrier/operator gives the edge to the CEO. Secondly, I'd argue the actual skills needed to underestand Nokia's very complex business and its customrs, are far closer to the mobile operator/carrier business (who also use mobile phones) than that of PC software business of Microsoft. So regardless of what you suggest, if Nokia were to select an acting CEO now from one of the operators/carriers, it would be a better fit than Elop was.

As to competences, I do really agree with you, it is a very complex business and understanding sourcing and manufacturing and distribution and multicultural organization in very dramatic change.. Lots of skills and competences needed, it would not be an easy job to take even under the best of circumstances.

My main point is, that I truly am convinced that Nokia has lots of problems but its biggest problem is the carrier relationship disaster that Elop created. That is the first problem that must be solved. If Nokia hired anyone from inside Nokia, an ex-Nokian, an IT or tech dude from the West Coast etc, none of those would reassure the carrier community of Nokia's long-term interest to serve them and their needs, as well as hiring one of their own, a CEO from their midst.

DA - good point, Nokia still has cash, it could turn things around. Also fully agree that Nokia should not expend its marketing resources to promote another company's ecosystem (Microsoft's Windows) but rather to promote its own products and services. Elop has been acting like a Microsoft VP, not a Nokia CEO.

Fabio - totally agree with you, and any smart CEO would make sure to get people like Anssi Vanjoki on some kind of superduper consulting contract to come help fix this sinking ship. Ideally Anssi should be COO or President for the new CEO, but I seriously doubt he'd be willing to do that haha, but if the new CEO comes as a CEO of a carrier/operator, he will already know Anssi of course and could ask the favor, and make sure Anssi is well compensated, and obviously Anssi would have been one of the best, it not THE best CEO candidate when Nokia selected Elop instead.

jo - agree, but actually smartphone business would not need to start from zero, Nokia does have reasonable assets it could build on - remember even a year after Burning Platforms, now in Q2, Symbian was still outselling the total Lumia line by a wide margin. If the CEO would support Nokia's strong devices and platforms rather than badmouth them - look at the 808 Pureview for example - Nokia could do better. But you are right, this is trying to prevent the Titanic going down while its already taking in water..

Pls keep the discussion going, excellent comments!

Tomi Ahonen :-)


What is paramount for Nokia's survival is retaining and regaining market share, consumer trust and turnover. A strategy needs to be split in a short term and long term plan. Continouing to recoupe what can be recouped from the Lumia investment is needed (nobody suggests osbourning that). This should be combined with launching android devices - which could be done with a moderate investment. Why - because it is simply the only short term possible profit maker and retainer of market share. MeeGo wouldn't cut this, neither would Meltemi - both would need a long term market penetration strategy and does not have carrier support, wide consumer interest or app ecosystem. Android would be readily accepted when CEO is changed.
This is the basis for getting back public recognition. Only target is to turn into profit fast and any strategy that doesn't fulfill that requirement is of no use. On that platform a longer term strategy could be build - I don't see any immediate candidate, but it doesn't need to be rushed at this stage.
The present problem is that Nokia has and is bleeding talent in buckets - i have even seen examples of employees resigning without a new opportunity at hand.
Hence before Elop has replaced all talent with headless Elopian believers, it starts with a CEO beheading (I mean it close to literally - it has to be distinct and new strategy needs to start with a strong signal).
Win8 will not be any solid platform - Microsoft has never been all will never be a consumer oriented company - it doesn't even treat their OEMs good (win7 -> Win8, Samsung frogleaping Nokia on Win8) - thus Win8 will live in a secluded b2b type of existence under constant pressure from the consumer centric iOS and Droid devices.
Humiliating or not - Android is now the only option.

Ericsson We see interconnection between the m-commerce ecosystem and the financial world are fast-tracking the next-generation of mobile financial services.


Today will be an interesting day for Nokia. All eyes are on the new devices - for many reasons...

BTW. It seems so that some shareholders share opinion of Tomi... ;-)

"If Nokia's new line-up of Lumia devices fail to impress on Wednesday, the Finnish Shareholders Association will consider what actions it can take to remove Mr. Elop from his post"

If they do it - and they will be successful - it will be interesting what comes after Elop...


I think this event is an epic failure for Nokia. The content, the presenters - OMG...

Look at the share price - it tells everything. :-(


The presentation was terrible..they were like stooges mumbling incomprehensible bullshit....

Busy Sylvia

I think it is still hard to change the present Nokia's situation.


Nokia publish new windows phone is an good choice for Nokia fans, firstly I'd like say Nokia is temporarily fall behind apple, Samsung, and Google. but Nokia rely on the products quality will absolutely have a good market.


I would like to know how an incompetent CEO can stay so long in a company after having destroyed it so much. Where are the share holders? Are them blind or sleeping? Don't they see that the shares lost badly in value (1Year=-52%, 5Year=-92%)? Nokia lost badly its market share. Do we wait until the company closes its doors.... At the same time Samsung became the market leader selling amazing phones, the best ever.... In my personal opinion Nokia share holders are as incompetent as Nokia's CEO. And in this case I see no future for this company. Unfortunately. A.


With blogs like this around I don't even need website anymore. I can just visit here and see all the latest happenings in the world.

Saved as a favorite, I really like your site!

The comments to this entry are closed.

Available for Consulting and Speakerships

  • Available for Consulting & Speaking
    Tomi Ahonen is a bestselling author whose twelve books on mobile have already been referenced in over 100 books by his peers. Rated the most influential expert in mobile by Forbes in December 2011, Tomi speaks regularly at conferences doing about 20 public speakerships annually. With over 250 public speaking engagements, Tomi been seen by a cumulative audience of over 100,000 people on all six inhabited continents. The former Nokia executive has run a consulting practise on digital convergence, interactive media, engagement marketing, high tech and next generation mobile. Tomi is currently based out of Helsinki but supports Fortune 500 sized companies across the globe. His reference client list includes Axiata, Bank of America, BBC, BNP Paribas, China Mobile, Emap, Ericsson, Google, Hewlett-Packard, HSBC, IBM, Intel, LG, MTS, Nokia, NTT DoCoMo, Ogilvy, Orange, RIM, Sanomamedia, Telenor, TeliaSonera, Three, Tigo, Vodafone, etc. To see his full bio and his books, visit Tomi Ahonen lectures at Oxford University's short courses on next generation mobile and digital convergence. Follow him on Twitter as @tomiahonen. Tomi also has a Facebook and Linked In page under his own name. He is available for consulting, speaking engagements and as expert witness, please write to tomi (at) tomiahonen (dot) com

Tomi's eBooks on Mobile Pearls

  • Pearls Vol 1: Mobile Advertising
    Tomi's first eBook is 171 pages with 50 case studies of real cases of mobile advertising and marketing in 19 countries on four continents. See this link for the only place where you can order the eBook for download

Tomi Ahonen Almanac 2009

  • Tomi Ahonen Almanac 2009
    A comprehensive statistical review of the total mobile industry, in 171 pages, has 70 tables and charts, and fits on your smartphone to carry in your pocket every day.

Alan's Third Book: No Straight Lines

Tomi's Fave Twitterati